Arab Spring address (May 2011)
I think it's important not to take this particular situation and then try to project some sort of Obama Doctrine that we're going to apply in a cookie cutter fashion across the board. Each country in this region is different. Our principles remain the same. We want to make sure that governments are not attacking their own citizens. We believe in core fundamental human rights like freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. We want governments that are responsive to their people. And so we'll use all our tools to try to accomplish that. But Libya was a unique situation where a limited military intervention that had a strong international mandate and strong international participation could make the difference -- life or death difference -- for a lot of people. And in that situation it made sense. That does not mean that somehow we are going to go around trying to use military force to impose or apply certain forms of government.
-- President Barack Obama, March 29, 2011
JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images